Acting Real Focused

Why is it that people tell you to reach for your goals? Simple if you keep going even if you fall, one day it will pop! The second you do you’re acting funny, cute, or like you got it like that. No the part your missing is I’m acting real focused. I know where I am going and I’m striving to get there. I can’t stop to make you feel better that I stayed in your lane. Either get a new lane or come up! Simple and plain! Also you have no idea what a person goes through behind the scenes in order to make their dreams come true. Hard work and dedication comes at a price always!

Who is going to push for your dreams more than you? Not one soul. Not one person is in charge of your journey like you are. You have to keep trying and keep going. There is an idea inside of you so keep on pushing until someone who needs to hear it does.

Do you know even in blogging there are moments when you snag that national account and moments when you don’t. There are moments when thousands read your work and days when they don’t. Never give up! Persistency is how you win! So this is why I keep going. I started my blog 3 years ago to a crowd of a few and now that crowd has grown and continues to grow. I’m more determined to keep going until I get to work with the likes of Essence or Mother Oprah. Why? I know I can reach the goal and I know that goal it’s attainable.

So whatever goal you have, crush it! Don’t quit or let the folks see you sweat! Use your voice to get the folks together and press on!Your yes is on its way!

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Self-Care Your Week

So I told you about how last week was pretty rough. Between me not realizing that camp was delayed for a week to working from home, last week was tough. So I looked at what I did that worked and what didn’t work and came up with a few things we all can do to self care our week:

1. Drink plenty of water: today in Philly it will be almost 100 degrees no need in not taking care of your health so drink up!

2. Take a break: go outside that’s the one saving grace that made the difference last week. Being outside helps your mood

3. Go offline: I love social media but take a break even if it’s for an hour

4: Mind your business: this should be done often but the amount of negativity that we take on always stirring the pot of someone else’s lives can be better used in focusing on ways to improve ours.

5: Work out: you will lose some unwanted pounds as well as relieve stress

6: Get some sleep: watching television is great but sitting up every night while it watches you is not. Going to bed earlier a few nights a week does amazing things for your morning

7: Eat Right: overeating or even under eating is a problem. Make sure you also eat more fruits and vegetables your body will thank you

8: Read: take a magazine with you or a book and when you have down time while you’re taking that social media break, read!

9: Favorite Drink: sometimes having your favorite drink will make a great difference. Now that it’s hot Pintrest some Summer drinks and enjoy something cold and refreshing

10: Plan-setting brings into place will not make your week magical but it can cut down on a lot of stress of having to find things

Whatever you do make sure that you find little things that make your day and week that much better. You can do a thousand one things such as lighting candles, going to a favorite spot, etc

Choose to set the bar high on making sure you aren’t simply getting through the week but that you spend some time being good to yourself.

Have a great Monday and a great week!!

Take the Step out of Stepdad; Tribute to my Dad!!

Stepdads especially when they are great dads should be treated with the same respect as a regular father. Stepdads who take on the responsibility of a father are admiral. So today we salute the men who stepped in stepped up.

Stepdads from Hell

So before we get all gushy in our feelings let’s deal with the stepdads who only play their part to pretend for the women they marry that they are really there for the kids. This is awful. Many of these men can create more issues and make it hard for the marriage or relationship they entered. The kids are isolated. Many develop feelings of anger. Now if a mom is about her kids first she would get to the bottom of it. Sadly there are some who are concerned with keeping a man and won’t even on the surface look into the situation.

Stepdads who Step it Up

So I’m going to make it personal. My mom met my dad who is my step dad legally but my real dad in real life. I was around 5 or even younger so for me, my dad (I’ve yet to call him step anything) was and still is the only father I’ve ever known. There have been many things up and down that has occurred in our relationship but let me publicly say THANK YOU! My dad is an amazing man! He is active duty military, he has been to every function my sister and I have ever had, he helped us with our school work, took us on vacations, and has been an outstanding father and man!! He’s been in our lives so tight that some of my friends wouldn’t have ever known that he was my stepdad. The only time I talk about step is for things like this or if asked. It’s not a secret in anyway. He has just been a pillar in our life.

I can say that he set the bar high for any dad. His dad my grandfather is an amazing man and I’m not hyping them for the blog either, offline they are both amazing!! When I grew up I couldn’t use the I ain’t know my real dad as an excuse to act up, make a scene, or be less than I needed to be. My dad slipped in my life as if he had been there from our very existence. He was tough and it’s those tough moments that I’ve ever was really mad at him. Now with my kids I get it! He had to be stern. I was definitely the handful out of my siblings. I always appeared to be the one who didn’t give issues but it wasn’t true.

If you have a step dad make sure you make him feel that he is the most amazing father. Do your best to salute him the best way you can for Father’s Day. My real dad has never been in the picture and because of the love of my step dad the only thing I’ve ever have had was curiosity and never a lack of love. I never felt empty. I’ve never felt like as a daughter I needed anything. I think when I moved from my hometown to Philadelphia the only thing I’ve always remembered as I got older was my dad and I’s dates. It would be our time and it was the time he would let me pick his brain about men and relationships. Trust me it made for interesting conversations.

I’m sure as a daughter I have hurt him. I know I have. The time when I was younger and gave him an issue because I was a kid trying to figure it all out. I’m extremely head strong. He definitely pushed me to be vocal. That can be a blessing and a curse. I know that I’ve had moments where I’ve embarrassed him. For all of those moments I hope I have given you all of the apologies you were due!

My dad and I when we talk we never say goodbye we just say see you later. If he would say goodbye I would be like what’s going on? See you later leaves it up that we are just waiting for the next conversation or meet up. My dad makes me feel like the best daughter in the world.

I love you dad!! Happy Father’s Day!!

Father’s Day Pain

As we approach Fathers Day we must talk about the pain of the day. There are a lot of amazing fathers that have passed away. It makes days about honoring a father hard just like it was for Mother’s Day. It’s unbearable feeling for many. The pain of the day has to be talked about because it’s unsettling and real.

Absentee Father

Unfortunately the way life is set up it makes it easier for men to be absentee fathers. Like the old folks would say mamas baby, fathers maybe! This is the time to note that not all men run from their responsibilities. There are some outstanding men who not only honor themselves and their children but some men who are stand up men and father and raise children who are not theirs biologically. Kudos to you wonderful men and we will be celebrating you all week. However there are children who regardless of having male influences in their lives or having a mother who attempts to play both roles still need and long for their fathers love, admiration, and respect.

I don’t know why a man would leave. I can’t answer for men in that regard but I can answer for the children who are stuck between this adult world and child life. Normally there is never an explanation. They have no choice to rely on what they are being told. Depends on their mother if they are told the real story without bias. I hear men saying well that child is being tainted by their mother. You are right to a point except often times when the father leaves it opens the door. Let’s not act like there are mothers who use their kids as pawns. You can open your local paper and read how some kids are even being murdered because the father won’t comply to the mother’s demands. We know it exists. However a child can’t understand and as that child gets older they will continue to see the absence of the father as something that is about them. The child thinks I’m not good enough! Kids need both parents!

Fathers raising other families

This could mean that the original set of parents have broken up, the father has left, etc and instead of that man keeping and maintaining a relationship with his kids, he leaves and starts a whole new family. This is the ultimate disrespect to a child. What was it about that new family that made it okay for you to leave and never look back. No calls on birthdays. No time spent on holidays. Nothing. But a new life with a new family and the father that your child longs for is now being done elsewhere. It’s heart breaking. Even grown kids feel a sense of pain.

Single moms as fathers

I will say this and I know a small amount of folks will get mad. Kudos to the single moms doing all the work. You are not mom and dad you are mom doing it alone. Your child may respect the hustle but they still want their father. You can give a child everything but it will never erase the void of that father. The child can even live a settled life but hear me clearly my sister, your child will still want their dad. It’s hard. The pain of trying to make sure that child doesn’t miss a beat only to think your child is not affected by the absence of that father is setting yourself up.

Salute to my single mothers. You get a bad rap! There are a million reasons why you are single and raising a child or children alone. You have the world on your shoulder and you’re doing the best you can! My hat off to you but do understand your child needs their dad. You might try all you can to get the father to participate and he won’t. You can’t make him! Love on your child but do understand how your child feels. I heard a mom tell her child “you don’t need that fake ass father of yours. I’m all you got.” I understood the pain. I get it! That’s how you feel when that father makes promises and leaves you with the pain from that child and the pain you feel everyday with no help! That child even if he or she understand will still want their dad. It’s natural. Thus the pain on the day!

What can fathers who have placed pain do?

Attempt to be there! Apologize and show up. I would rather know my dad cane and tried and was stopped than to think he just knew I existed and just kept living a life as if I was never apart of it. If you have a child then do right by that child. Do not tell me that the mother of your child makes it hard so you stopped only at her. Yes the courts do make it easier for women then men but if you stop at that you are to blame. Does it cost? Yes! But stop at nothing to be apart of that child’s life. There are organizations that assist men in being in their kids life. If you can google the little dumb stuff that we all google, google information to assist in being involved. Any reasons you try to give me will never be acceptable not to me but to your child. End of the day that child is the one losing.

As we continue to celebrate Father’s Day we will talk about all of the pain associated around the day. We will hit it strong and make sure we balance the pain along with the joys of being a father. I know how being loved on by your father and how that love pushes you through relationships or even with your own kids.

Sunday Message: A Different Light

Good Sunday morning to you all. I hope one you had or are having a great weekend and two you are finding ways to renew. One of the things we are talking about today is the phrase “I see them in a different light.” This is to suggest that whomever you were or are dealing with has changed and is no longer the way you remember them. It’s almost like the person has done a “switch.”

I would suggest that some people could possibly switch or that maybe you were unwilling to change the focus of your lens. You may not have been willing to see the special person in your life in a certain way and therefor excused their behavior. I have had this happened too many times to count. You simply don’t even consider the opinions of others and will only see them how you like them. So regardless of their negative qualities you simply bypass them and continue until…… they bite you, hurt you, show “their true colors,” etc.

Their true colors were on display the entire time your willingness to be blind is what handicapped you. If you have someone tell you about how a person is, take what they say into consideration of the potential of the person. This means be aware they may behave this way but do not simply say they aren’t capable. Doing this allows you to be honest about the person you are dealing with and make the decision to remain in their life. This also makes for when the “switch” happens for you to take the responsibility of not playing victim. You saw the negative potential and you still entreated or trusted them. Trust can be broken. It hurts. It’s devastating depending on the level of relationship, but sometimes we play victims to things we were willful participants and we need to be honest with at least ourselves.

The same light that drew you to a person was there to shine the light on them as a whole. You chose not to see all of their sides. You connected to the parts that benefited you. That is the honest assessment. So now that you have been bitten by their full personality you must make the decision to withdraw or continue. Do not let the ones who stand by saying I told you so push you and don’t let your pride of not wanting them to be right make you continue either. I’ve been wrong about friends. I’ve been guilty of continuing relationships with people I knew wasn’t right. These are choices. Honestly the longer you stay the worse the bite will be. True colors are always present you just have to take the sunglasses of selection off. The more you blind yourself into acceptance the worst the hurt will be.

Now the flip is you can just be friends or relationship with bad folks and you see them clearly and you just going to ride it out. This too is a choice. I am finding too if you make this choice and then person doesn’t belong in your life, events will continue to happen that will push your hand. You can’t improve yourself and not take accountable the circle you keep. Either you and your circle are going no where or one or more in that circle is in constant inner turmoil until they weed out the negativity. It’s like fighting yourself to be with a person or group of people and it WILL bother you until you do yourself a personal justice and end things.

You can let nature take its toll. Nature will always give you a way out. You can naturally end a relationship. You no longer like the same things so when the opportunity comes simply decline the invitation. The more declines let’s the person know you’re not feeling them. Also conversations will began to lack. One of the things that irk me but have been a blessing is “k.” You are in a relationship with someone and all they give is a k or one word answers and you’re trying to talk via text or even regular conversation is my ultimate pet peeve. There’s blessing in it. The more irritated I get by it the more I just communicate less. How can you be a friend and you’re excitedly attempting to talk to a person who is dry? That is a turn off and eventually I just share less. Nature will take its course!

So if you’re in constant inner struggle over a person who’s true sides have been showing you lack luster relationship or they have been “switching” take the time to be honest with yourself about what part you have played and how long you have allowed this to continue? Don’t stay just to prove someone else wrong. Don’t stay just because starting over would be an issue. Let nature take its course. Also you may have to end it too. You may have to do what you should have done week, months or years ago and that’s walk away!! It’s no longer serving you! You deserve to be in relationship with like minded folks. People who when you speak to them make you feel inspired. When you are around make you happy about life even when life is not only giving you lemons but feels like it’s giving you spoiled lemons.

Crazy Mondays: Keep Going

I started this morning in prayer. I try my best to make this a daily occurrence. So I’m up early and only snoozed once! I’m like yes day let’s start this! Then…….

I had to catch myself before I began to be upset. Did my makeup and I was looking like Casper’s cousin. I had to start all over again. Ran around getting stuff done, guess what? Still missed my first train! Then I’m getting my thoughts together and realized my wallet is on the couch. Ouch! I’m like let me refocus. I woke and prepared so much the night before! I did all that to prevent this mess and things was still going left. Welp!

As soon as I stepped back I remembered I have at least an Id on me in case of emergency, you good! I have an all day meeting that I helped plan which includes food and coffee! I had at least grabbed my dry cleaning! And although I missed my first train, my boss text he was running late and I still would be an hour early for the meeting so rest, relax, declare a good day, turn your music up and put your lipstick on and handle it!

Push forward! Make the best out of bad starts! Reset!

Sunday Message: Share and Open Yourself

So good Sunday evening. As I blog this my whole house is quiet and napping and that calls for a great glass of wine. But before I do that I had to share a little something with you. I love being apart of groups whether online or offline that are about something. With being in groups they add a sense of belonging. One of the things that happens is you share information and experience.

We all have something that another person needs. Whether you speak it, write it or share it, people are most likely going through what you have been through or will go through. Yes you can keep a few things for yourself. However consider speaking up about a few things that you have conquered. So many people are hungry, angry, or need support and just want to know they they aren’t alone.

You have a voice. Use it! Please stop thinking that you will have people all up in your business. And even if you did, let’s keep this real it ain’t nothing somebody ain’t been through. So many folks are so protective of their “stuff” and don’t realize how much healing and accountability can come out of sharing. I spoke to 5 women today who went through postpartum and all of them had the same theme, they didn’t know anyone had been through it. Some of them their own family members shrugged them all. They were not alone.

What about the things you are going through? Do you think that you’re the only one going through pain? Nope. You’re not! You’re only alone because you hold onto it and think that holding it will help you. Often times you just suffer in silence. That’s really the concept of any group you are in. It should be a place of support and love. Within that should be healing.

I encourage you to not hold your testimonies in your heart all the time. There are some folks that can benefit from you speaking your truth. Now that sounds like a win, right?! Indeed but there’s always a but…

Use discernment! Sometimes sharing with a few folks always comes with a backlash. When I started blogging I got the “what makes you an authority?” “You ain’t no wonder!” “You share/talk too much!” ” You got so much to say but you really need to….” The ones who said those things were not my intended audiences. It wasn’t for them. Remember I only post I don’t harass for support so… my thought is then and now, do not log on to read! It’s not shade it’s true!

I only share my life. I don’t have time to share from a 3rd party perspective. When I talk about failure it’s because I’ve had more moments of it than most and….. it’s helped others to be authentic. When I talk about giving up it’s because I’ve tried to do it and grace walked me back to success. When I talk about marriages being on edge it’s because my own has been dipped by foolishness and we are still liking one another. Sharing always comes with a little backlash but when someone sends me a response to one of my answers to their Ask Toi and says you listened when no one else did, I count that as worth it. When I look back at my own blogs and say thank you Lord for grace, that’s worth it.

I know that when I don’t have folks that will listen without judgement something will come up that speaks to me. It’s been a video, a song, a blog something positive that speaks to that negative battle I could be in and I’m super grateful that someone wasn’t ashamed to speak up! Speak to those around you. Know the audience to whom you are speaking to. When the ones around you give you issues, hear what you can use and then note the folks and learn to adjust your audience from them to where you need to be. Don’t get discouraged in what you have been through. We all can draw from one another. We all can help one another heal if we aren’t afraid to speak it!